abu dhabi bus
Public bus fares have been standardised at Dh2 for basic fares, with an additional fee of 5 fils per kilometre. Image Credit: Abu Dhabi Media Office

Dubai: Do you often use the public buses in Abu Dhabi to commute from the suburbs to the city? Your trips are about to get cheaper after Abu Dhabi implemented a unified bus fare system this week.

According to an announcement made on Tuesday, December 12 by the Integrated Transport Centre (ITC), the emirate’s public transportation authority, Abu Dhabi has has introduced standardised tariffs for all its public buses, to facilitate and promote the use of public buses and enhance the integration between the suburbs and cities.

Here are how the new changes will affect you.

How has the bus fare changed?

Public bus fares have been standardised at Dh2 for basic fares, with an additional fee of 5 fils per kilometre.

The cost of a single trip is capped at Dh5.

Earlier, passengers would have to pay a basic fare of Dh2 for each new bus ride when they changed buses on their route.

Previous bus fare:
Local trips (within the city): Dh2
Regional trips (from suburbs): Dh2 plus Dh0.05 per kilometre.

Now, with the bus fare being paid using the Hafilat card, which the emirate’s official public bus card, the cost of the trip will be calculated from the first bus trip to the last one as a single trip.

Changing buses – what you need to know

ITC explained that if while commuters will only pay the standard bus fare once and be able to change their bus without incurring an extra basic fare, they must fulfill three conditions to take advantage of this change:

The passenger must change the bus within a reasonable period.

The number of changes must not exceed two times. This means that the trip must be completed using a maximum of three buses.

There should be no change to the opposite direction of the itinerary.

How much is a Hafilat card for?
A Hafilat card costs Dh10 and is valid for five years. You can buy the card through ticket vending machines (TVMs), located at bus stops and bus stations, at Al Ain Cooperative Society, or at all LuLu Hypermarket branches in the emirate.

How to use the Hafilat card

According to ITC, these are the steps you should follow when taking public transport using the Hafilat card:

Tap the Hafilat card on the machine reader on the bus. At this stage, the system deducts the initial fare from the balance of the preloaded card.

When getting off the bus, tap the card on the reader again, and the system will calculate the total cost of the trip and deduct the fare accordingly.

How to check Hafilat bus card balance:
You can check the balance on your Hafilat card and recharge it, if needed, through TVMs and recharge machines at bus stations and stops as well as at malls in Abu Dhabi, ticket sales offices located at bus stations or even online, through the Hafilat card website - https://hafilat.darb.ae/

You can check the balance on your Hafilat card and recharge it, if needed, through TVMs and recharge machines at bus stations and stops as well as at malls in Abu Dhabi, ticket sales offices located at bus stations or even online, through the Hafilat card website - https://hafilat.darb.ae/

Benefits for monthly and weekly pass bus users

ITC also highlighted that passengers who use monthly and weekly Halifat card passes will benefit from the changes because the geographical coverage of the permits has been expanded.

As per the ITC website – itc.gov.ae – earlier, these passes could only be used for bus trips within the city of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra regions. Now, it can be used for city and suburban lines. Here is how much the pass will cost you:

- Halifat card weekly pass – Dh35, valid seven days from purchase.
- Halifat card monthly pass – Dh95, valid 30 days from purchase.

You can buy these passes from TVMs and the ticket sales offices located at bus stations in Abu Dhabi.